Your Budget Windows Laptop Could Get a Serious Graphics Boost

AMD's Ryzen 6000 announced at CES 2022

Key Takeaways

  • AMD’s Ryzen 6000 mobile processors will roughly double integrated graphics performance.
  • Image enhancement wizardry like Radeon Super Resolution can further boost game performance. 
  • 1080p/60 FPS gaming will be possible on entry-level Windows laptops with AMD’s new hardware.
A Windows computer sitting on a desk with a spiral-bound notebook next to it.

Vinayak Sharma /

AMD is about to give budget Windows laptops a serious graphics upgrade.

The company announced its new Ryzen 6000 mobile processors at CES 2022. While the CPU cores receive a modest update, the real news is the upgrade to Ryzen's integrated graphics. Ryzen 6000 chips will use the RDNA 2 architecture found in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game consoles. 

"The transition to RDNA 2 effectively increases every graphics resource by 50 to 100 percent. The net of that is that in gaming graphics, RDNA 2 is twice as fast," Robert Hallock, AMD's Director of Technical Marketing, said in a video call. 

RDNA 2 Means Twice the Performance

AMD's prior Ryzen mobile APUs can play many 3D games at 1080p and 30 frames per second at modest detail settings. The upgrade to RDNA 2 is promised to roughly double that, making 60 FPS gameplay possible in titles like Fortnite and Doom Eternal at 1080p resolution. 

The Ryzen APUs have a trick up their sleeve for tackling more demanding games: FidelityFX Super Resolution. It's an image enhancement algorithm used to render a game at a lower-than-native resolution and enhance quality such that it's similar to playing at native resolution. 

A gaming controller with a laptop out of focus behind it.

Hello Lightbulb / Unsplash

AMD used Far Cry 6 as its example, claiming it can average 59 FPS at low detail on a laptop with a Ryzen 6800U that has FSR set to 1080p quality mode. That's impressive, not least of all because Ubisoft's official minimum requirements for Far Cry 6 say a PC should have at least an AMD Radeon RX 460 or Nvidia GTX 960 desktop video card. 

There's more. AMD also revealed Radeon Super Resolution, a feature that works like FSR but can be applied to any game (only a few dozen titles support FSR). "Image quality is slightly lower at any given preset than FSR, but it works with any game," said Hallock. "In our testing, it's worth another 30 to 50 percent performance bump." 

What About the Competition?

Ryzen 6000 is an upgrade over Ryzen 5000. But how does it stack up next to integrated graphics from Intel and Apple?

The Intel comparison is simple. Ryzen 6000 should be a lot faster. AMD's internal testing claims a performance boost of 1.2 to three times that of Intel's Xe integrated graphics, depending on the game. You should take internal testing with a grain of salt, but these results shouldn't be surprising, as the quickest Ryzen 5000 APUs are already competitive (though often a tad behind) Intel's Xe.

Apple's M1 may also lag AMD's latest. Ryzen 5000 APUs tend to underperform the entry-level Apple M1 chip in graphics benchmarks like Geekbench 5's OpenCL test, but often not by much, so a two-fold gain for Ryzen 6000 would give AMD a lead. However, it's a complex comparison that won't have a proper answer until laptops with AMD Ryzen 6000 hardware hit store shelves. 

A comparison graph of how playable games are on portable computers, based on graphics processors.


Boon for Budget Buyers

Ryzen 6000 won’t threaten most laptops with discrete graphics (though AMD says it can beat the entry-level Nvidia MX450), but it will greatly improve the baseline graphics performance laptop shoppers can expect. 

It will appear first in high-end Windows laptops, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Z Series. Thin-and-light laptops like the Z Series often can fit discrete graphics in smaller models, leaving them to rely on integrated. Ryzen 6000 will make that compromise less painful.

The hardware will then trickle down to budget machines towards the end of 2022 and into 2023, likely replacing Ryzen 5000 in popular laptops like the Acer Swift 3 and HP 14. That’s great news for those who lack the cash, or the need, to pick up a rip-roaring gaming laptop priced above $1,000.

Want to read more? Grab all of our CES 2022 coverage right here.

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